Rumor Has It – September 2011

By , Staff Writer
September 2011

Her life in France
Rachel Kusin
and 21 students from the University of Georgia attended the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity in France to learn how creativity affects consumer behavior. It’s billed as the world’s largest gathering of communication experts and advertising and marketing gurus. Rachel heard quite a few impressive speakers, including Robert Redford and Martha Stewart. Other “wow” moments came when she ate pizza in Italy, admired a castle in Monaco and was back in Nice, France, to meet with the publisher of the Riviera Times all in one day. The publisher’s sage advice: Don’t start your own newspaper! Read more about Rachel’s European adventures on her blog at

A feast fit for a birthday
Friends flocked in from Miami, Dallas and Galveston to celebrate Lenni Burke’s 60th birthday at her Crested Butte home. Beverly and Howard Robinson drove from Aspen to join the fun. Crested Butte homeowners Mary Gwen and Ben Hulsey and Neva and John Dawson were part of the party that helped devour a traditional mountain meal of smoked brisket, mac ‘n’ cheese and apple crisp with vanilla ice cream. Lenni and hubby Bill and son Will and daughter Kaylen wore themselves out with hikes, golf and ziplining during day.

Blaire Alexrod and Scott Hocking happily make their post-vows exit with the snowcapped Colorado mountains in the background.

Destined to design
Eighteen year old Leah Shkolnick found herself sewing 400 flowers onto a single garment with the fourth-season winner of Project Runway, Christian Siriano. It all began during Houston Fashion week last October. A chance meeting with a Siriano team member led to a meeting with the designer himself at Neiman Marcus and then a two-week January internship where Leah worked hard to be a “sew-in” for a longer summer internship in New York. She now attends Syracuse and will major in fashion design.

Now and then
At 5 a.m. 20 years ago, Suzie Wilson met Susan Hendrix, Susan Ballard, Nancy Gardner and Sue Nyberg sitting on a cold cement floor outside of Hunters Creek Elementary. They were waiting to get slots for their children in a pre-K class. Fast forward to 2011 and a memory weekend in Austin where Suzie and Larry Wilson’s daughter, Mimi, got married to Dr. Scott Tarnowieckyi. Mimi invited her gal pals to sample bridal and groom’s cakes and all the grown children, including Kristin Hendrix, Jennie and Jill Ballard, Katie Gardner and Matt Nyberg, were present.

My big fat mountaintop wedding
On June 25, Blaire Axelrod and Scott Hocking wed on Larkspur Lawn at the Four Seasons in Vail, Colo. Blaire’s Monique Lhuillier gown had silver flecks in the fabric that sparkled when hit by the sunlight. After cocktails by the pool, the party moved inside where a seven-foot ice bar with sculpted swans and the couples’ initials were lit up with LED lights. Servers handed out square shot glasses made of ice with tequila shots in flavors Honey I Do and Blushing Bride-tini. The couples’ parents are Debi and Bobby Axelrod and Linda and Larry Hocking.

Happy birthday, Mr. Mayor
To celebrate Bill White’s June 16 birthday, sons Stephen and Will and wife Andrea White gave the former mayor a Big Green Egg grill, a top of the line ceramic cooker. The gift was also a move to ensure some tasty grilled chicken and veggie meals while Andrea is busy promoting her newest book series. Her fourth book, Windows on the World, is a sci-fi novel for teens and part of a trilogy. The futuristic story takes place in 2083 and tells the intertwining tale of two girls living a century apart. Seven school districts will receive copies of the book as an inspiration for children and young girls in particular to feel empowered to make a difference. Andrea invites other authors or publishers to contact her if interested in donating time and books to the schools through ( andrea (at) billwhitetexas (dot) com.

Istanbul, not Constantinople
Kathy and Terry Hatchett
spent 16 days trotting through Turkey. Joe and Merrill Hafner joined them in Istanbul before leaving for London to visit their grandkids. Kathy and Terry walked to the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and St. Sophia Church from their hotel, the Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet, which was a prison long ago. A Hatchett highlight was a stay in Cappadocia where the Anatolian Houses Hotel suites are carved into the mountain to give the visitor a feel for the Turkish way of life, with all the amenities of a first-class cave.

Have some good news to share? We want to know. E-mail us at ( info (at) thebuzzmagazines (dot) com.